Local churches reach out to victims of sex trafficking

CREATED Dec. 5, 2013

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MILWAUKEE-- A group of local churches is fighting to make a change in the lives of sex trafficking victims.

As you decorate for the holidays, a group in Milwaukee is hoping the “Make Room” ornament will stand out as a way to help victims of sex trafficking.

"Going off of the season that celebrates the birth of Jesus who was born in a manger because there was no room in the inn for him, there's this idea that there are no rooms for children coming out of the trade in Milwaukee,” said Katie Linn.

Linn is the Executive Director of Exploit No More, a group made up of Milwaukee-area churches fighting a growing child sex trade.

"Cases across the country have been as young as 10 or 11 years old. In Milwaukee we typically see 12, 13, 14 15 years old," said Linn. 

Pastor Randy Knie and Brew City Church are part of the effort trying to raise money to establish a home for girls who've survived.

"Just to say that I as a resident of the city of Milwaukee, I as a son of God even, I need to care for these girls and treat them as if they were my daughters," said Knie. 

So far, they've raised about $60,000, but they need $500,000 to support the long term trauma care these girls need.

"Everyday things such as noise from the road, slamming doors can be triggers for them to break down," said Linn. 

If you're able to give $25, the ornament is your gift. And it’s a symbol of the fight for young girls who can't fight for themselves.

"The biggest obstacle to change is the idea someone else will do it, someone else will take care of it. And we as a community have come together and we're saying no, we're going to step up to the plate to do something," said Linn. 

They're hoping to raise the full amount by May. If you can't afford to donate money, they say they'd love for you to donate your time. They, and these girls, are grateful for all the help they can get.